Campus Planning Reports and Plans

Publication Date



Amherst Libraries, which is on the edge of significant change moving into a new era serving scholars, researchers and learners in the 21st Century. Over the last decade the Library has been a leader in many initiatives: increasing development of digital resources; collaborating with the Five Colleges Consortium, which was one of the first in the country to develop a shared book depository; developing a highly successful Learning Commons that engages partners in providing a broad range, of services and settings for learners; providing services through partners welcomed into library facilities, such the peer learning activities of the Learning Resources Center; and converting space to nontraditional library uses that are compatible with the mission of the library with facilities like the Teaching Commons. The visioning and conceptual development that was done for this study sought to build on the success of these initiatives, improve library space, and seek new types of blended facilities with partners that could enhance what the library offers the campus community.

The Libraries master plan is aligned with the University’s strategic plan to become a major research institution through growth of new areas for research and academic development, and to grow its student body. Whereas the previous decade focused a great deal on supporting undergraduate learning and research, for the next decade the Library plans to improve support for scholars, researchers and graduate students, combined with expanded services for undergraduates.

The Du Bois tower is in need of major renovation, upgrading to enable new types of activities, as well as to support traditional study and scholarship more effectively. Many options were studied for conversion of spaces to new activities or functions compatible with the library’s mission, and these are outlined in the sections that follow. Du Bois tower was the primary challenge: how to find ways to exploit the building’s potential yet mitigate its challenges.